In the final episode of the NBC poker franchise “Face the Ace,” Durrrr Challenge participant Patrik Antonius took center stage. In poker’s version of the United Nations, Antonius, a Fin now living in Monte Carlo, played heads-up against French native Nico Mamy, whose wife taught him the ropes of poker. Antonius was Mamy’s $40,000 “ace.”
Only a few hands of the encounter were shown. Each player began with a starting stack of 20,000 and blinds started at 200-400. Antonius showed his familiar aggressive spirit throughout much of the action, including raising to 1,200 pre-flop with 10-3 and receiving a call from Mamy, who held A-5 of diamonds. The flop came J-J-6, Antonius fired out a continuation bet of 2,000, and Mamy mucked.
The Million Dollar Challenge personality recorded a suckout after checking his option pre-flop with J-6 against Mamy’s K-10. The flop came 3-5-10, giving Mamy top pair, and the challenger called a bet of 400 from Antonius. The turn was a deuce and the action went check-check to a jack on the river, giving Antonius top pair. He led out for 1,100 and Mamy called, seeing that he had been three-outed.
In a key hand, Mamy raised to 1,100 with A-K, including the ace of diamonds, and Antonius called with Q-10, including the 10 of diamonds. The flop came 2-9-8 with two diamonds and Antonius bet 2,000. Mamy called and the seven of diamonds came on the turn, putting three of the suit on the board. The action went check-check to the river, which gave both players a flush. Holding a 10-high flush, Antonius bet 5,000 and, with the nuts, Mamy shoved for 9,500. Antonius called the extra 4,500, doubling up the challenger.
It was then only a matter of time before Antonius committed his chips to try to double up. He raised to 3,100 pre-flop with A-8 and Mamy shoved over the top with pocket sixes. Antonius called with his “Face the Ace” life on the line and the flop came K-J-2. Antonius needed an ace, eight, or running cards for a straight, but instead watched as the turn and river both came nines. Mamy banked $40,000 before losing his second round match to Full Tilt Poker pro Mike “The Mouth” Matusow.
“Face the Ace” was largely a bust, as reticent Full Tilt pros like Phil Ivey and Allen Cunningham created several awkward on-air moments. The poker game show’s main competitor, the “PokerStars.net Million Dollar Challenge,” triumphed from a ratings standpoint, as gabby poker pro Daniel Negreanu served as the show’s main personality. In the end, 9/11 first responder Mike Kosowski defeated Negreanu heads-up on the “Million Dollar Challenge” to earn $1 million.
One of the finalists of the “Million Dollar Challenge,” liquor salesman Brian Barboza, finished in the money in the 2010 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas, earning $15,000 plus memories to last a lifetime. “Face the Ace” aired on NBC, while its PokerStars counterpart appeared on FOX. Both shows have completed their first seasons.
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